• Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

Message from the Province of East Flanders, Belgium on the 36th Cordillera Day

April 24, 2020

The People’s Cordillera Day is a day of international solidarity, a day of hope and belief in social justice, genuine development, peace, freedom and democracy.

The current corona crisis calls upon us to turn this international solidarity and support worldwide into reality. The challenges we are facing are large, however so is our solidarity.

The Province of East Flanders, in partnership with the Belgian NGO Solidagro, is working together with the CDPC network in the Cordillera since 1994.

Our partnership focusses on sustainable development in the Cordillera region. Therefore people’s organizations and their communities in the Cordillera are empowered to defend and assert their right to a development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.

We strive for the people’s welfare with a focus on the right to food and livelihood, labor rights, political rights and the right to health. The community health workers of the CDPC network are in the frontline fighting against COVID19 for the health of those communities deprived of decent health care. They put themselves at risk to protect others.

Actually this is what the Cordilleran people are already doing for a long time. By protecting their ancestral lands against large scale mining and energy projects, by promoting small scale and sustainable agricultural production, they try to protect the world from overexploitation of our natural resources, and the accompanying consequences of climate change.

Thanks to a strong civil society, people are organized to work together to protect the future in the short and long term. We hope this social movement can continue to grow. The more people see the power of cooperation, the more they believe in the possibility of sustainable change.

It is everyone’s duty to show solidarity, especially with those who stand up for a fair and sustainable society. It is everyone's duty to fight for human rights! We wish you strength and courage.

In this volatile period where our health, economic and socio-political lives are threatened dangerously by tyrannical rule through a military lockdown using the public health crisis of COVID-19 as an excuse, we must close ranks with each other and with the rest of our suffering people, institute measures to safeguard our health and strongly perform solidarity through the ob-obbo.

From your partners, your friends of the Province of East-Flanders
Leentje Grillaert,
Deputy of the Province of East-Flanders